Lakshmi - Hindu Goddess of Wealth, Prosperity, Wisdom and Fortune
The Divine Mother in her manifestation as Lakshmi is the Shakti of Vishnu. Lakshmi is known as the Goddess of Fortune and Beauty. In earlier texts she is known as Sri, which means "splendor," "beauty," "prosperity," "wealth." Vishnu holds the office of Preserver in the Hindu Trinity. The Preserver is parallel to the principle of the Son in the Western Trinity. As the Son, Vishnu embodies Cosmic Christ wisdom. He is also the mediator, or bridge, between the human consciousness and Brahman, Absolute Reality.
According to the teachings of Hinduism, Vishnu was incarnated nine times, most notably as Rama and Krishna. Lakshmi took human form to serve as his consort in each of his incarnations. Lakshmi's incarnations included: Sita, the faithful wife of Rama; the cow girl Radha, beloved of Krishna; and Rukmini, the princess whom Krishna later married.
As the Preserver, Vishnu preserves divine design conceived in Wisdom's flame. He restores the universe by Wisdom's all-healing Light. Lakshmi shares his role as Preserver. Her wisdom is revealed in blessings of prosperity and the precipitation of the abundant life. She bears the cornucopia of good fortune by "eye magic," the eye magic of the All-Seeing Eye of her Beloved. She embodies divine compassion and intercedes on our behalf before her consort. She is the mediator of the Mediator!
Lakshmi is described as being "as radiant as gold" and "illustrious like the moon." She is said to "shine like the sun" and "to be lustrous like fire." She teaches multiplicity and beauty and is called "She of the Hundred Thousands." Whatever matrix is in her hand, whatever you hold in your heart, Lakshmi can multiply by the millions, for one idea can be reproduced infinitely. Lakshmi also teaches us mastery of karmic cycles on the Cosmic Clock.
At the beginning of the commercial year in India, Hindus give special prayers to Lakshmi to bring success in their endeavors. She is worshiped in every home on all important occasions.
But Lakshmi has a deeper, esoteric significance in that she is associated with immortality and the essence of life. In Hindu lore, she was created when the gods and demons churned a primordial ocean of milk. Their goal was to produce the elixir of immortality. Along with the elixir, they also produced the Goddess Lakshmi. Lakshmi is seen as the one who personifies royal power and conveys it upon kings.
She is often depicted with a lotus and an elephant. The lotus represents purity and spiritual power; the elephant, royal authority.